The "Origins" of Some Famous Quotations - Original
What great historical figures might have said when they were students (mostly
written up during my early years at Stanford):
- "This is the worst exam I've ever written - except for all the others."
--Winston Churchill, had he failed as a student
- "Give me liberty, or give me math." --Patrick Henry as a young student
- "I only regret that I have but one brain to give for my final." --Nathan
Hale, also as a young student
- "I came, I saw, I calculated." --Julius Caesar describing his years as an
- "We hold these truths to be self-evident: That all tests are created
equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights;
that among these are mutiliation, incineration, and to suffer pursuit by angry
students." --Thomas Jefferson as a young student.
- "The only thing I have to fear, is fear itself. And this damned test."
--Franklin Roosevelt as a young student.
- "Speak softly, and carry a big pen." --Teddy Roosevelt's International
Relations final exam test-taking strategy.
- "It was the worst of times, it was REALLY the worst of times." --First
sentence of Dickens' A Tale of Two Students, which he wrote for a take-home
final when he was a young student.
- "2b, or not 2b, that is the question. Well, without 2a, there's not much I
can do." --Hamlet, struggling as a young student over his Calculus final.
- "O' brave new test, that hath such problems in it!" --Willy Shakespeare,
professor, emoting as he prepared his final.
- "I think, therefore I am...in trouble." --Rene Descartes as a young
student taking a final.
- Weeding-out motto for the Chemistry department: "E Pluribus Unum." (Out
of many, one.)
- "I think I have an Oedipal complex." --Sigmund Freud, studying for his
Classical Drama final.
- "Man was born free, and he is everywhere in finals." --Jean-Jacques
Rousseau as a young student
- "I have not yet begun to write!" John Paul Jones, 22 hours into a 24 hour
take-home final, when asked how it was going.